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NoPilrow Ltd -Additional Submissions

Notwithstanding the formal closing of the Inquiry, two potentially important events have occurred on which the Inspector has asked for comment. The first is a Court of Appeal decision on the 18th February 2014 affecting the National Trust/English Heritage property at Lyveden New Bield about which many of you may have spotted comment on in the press. This stresses the importance of heritage assets not just as heritage assets but of the setting in which they are located. So for us, Broadview have sought to diminish the value/importance of Brent Knoll and say that the Pilrow/Levels can happily accommodate not only the “Isolated Lowland Hill” that is Brent Knoll but also the wind farm because any “reasonable observer” can readily distinguish the two elements in the same landscape which is robust enough to hold both. The Court of Appeal was not impressed with that notion at all and emphasised the importance of setting. Hence the Inspector’s request for additional comment.


The second event of equal or greater importance is the rejection on 25th February 2014 of the West Huntspill proposal by the Secretary of State. The Decision Letter in that case refers principally to the impact on their landscape. Brent Knoll, & the Mendips AONB didn’t really feature in the Decision nor did any heritage/cultural issues. However its probably enough on landscape alone to get Pilrow thrown out too, hence the Inspector’s request for comment.


Today (13th March 2014) is the last day for these Submissions and a copy of the document as filed is attached and will be on web sites shortly. Martin Keegan felt that he has left it a little close to the deadline for comfort as he had rather hoped NoPilrow would be able to have some assistance from Sedgemoor’s Counsel, Gavin Collett, who Sedgemoor confirmed would not be instructed by them to prepare these final Submissions on resources grounds. Despite the lack of any conflict of interest they were not able to confirm that we, NoPilrow, could have the benefit of his expertise. That is a brief summary. 


So just when you think it’s all over something else has come along, and just when we thought this aspect was all over, another something else has also come along.


On 6th March 2014 the Government published new Planning Guidance which withdraws and replaces all Guidance previously issued on a wide range of planning issues, including renewables. We, NoPilrow Ltd, have been given until 24th March to make any additional Submissions on that Guidance insofar as it impacts on this Appeal. So Martin Keegan will turn to that in the next week. It is not apparent at first perusal that anything has significantly changed.


Whilst its hard to keep going back into this material the advantage lies with us because of the benefit to the locals of what politicians (and lawyers) call “the direction of travel” which seems to be away from the developers and their proposals.


To view the additional submissions, please click on the following PDF link: